The act and NCLB say that the accommodations that it provides should be interpreted in concordance with federal civil rights laws. "As interpreted by the . Supreme Court, Congress, and federal civil rights officials, these provisions rely on terms like “affirmative steps” and “appropriate action” that give school districts the discretion to use a range of instructional approaches. As a result, under both Title VI and the EEOA, courts and federal enforcement agencies must decide on a case-by-case basis whether programs are in fact overcoming linguistic barriers to full participation."  The policy still remains highly debated at both the state and federal level.
In an ESL classroom, students who teach many different languages are all taught by the same teacher. The teacher only speaks English and is not required to speak the native language of any members of the class. In ESL classes in elementary school, non English speaking students are generally taken out of their regular classroom for a period of time to learn English. In middle and high school, students take an ESL class in place of an elective. All teaching is done in English. Students sometimes feel singled out and awkward when pulled out of regular classes to go to their ESL class.